Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2214-9953
  • E-ISSN: 2214-9961
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This paper considers the interplay of physical and digital landscaping in the Mission District (‘the Mission’), a gentrified neighborhood in San Francisco, California. Aligned with recent work on affect and people’s mediations of the linguistic landscape (Wee, 2016Banda & Jimaima, 2015), I examine how the Mission is  – literally and figuratively – in a corpus of 16,756 Instagram posts. Comparing these digital remediated productions of place to the physical landscape, I demonstrate how both are structured semiotically along exclusionary lines. Contrary to the democratic and inclusive mythology of digital / social media, I show how users’ self-positionings and elitist stancetaking (Jaworski & Thurlow, 2009Mapes, forthcoming) effectively reinscribe privilege and reiterate gentrification of the Mission. As mining of ‘big data’ becomes increasingly valued as empirically ‘objective’ information, my analysis demonstrates geotagged content should not be viewed as a static indicator, but as a subjective, dynamic and – at times – problematic process.


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